| Seventies Almanac - 1976|
ritish-born Peter Frampton established himself as a singer-songwriter-guitarist in two late-Sixties bands, the Herd and Humble Pie. By 1975, though, he was $300,000 in debt and working solo for $500 a night. In desperation, he took the best songs he'd written over the past few years and re-recorded them in concert, hoping to capture some of that in-person excitement on vinyl. The resulting album was a two-record set, Frampton Comes Alive!, which sold over thirteen million copies. Not only was it the biggest double album to that time, but it was also number one for an incredible seventeen weeks. Three hit singles came out of that package: "Show Me the Way," "Baby I Love Your Way," and "Do You Feel Like We Do." The next year, Frampton struck again with "I'm in You" and a remake of Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." In 1978, Peter co-starred with the Bee Gees in the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and in 1979 had his last hit of the decade, "I Can't Stand It No More."
Kiss -- the most successful heavy metal gimmick band of all time -- made their television debut as guests on a Paul Lynde Halloween special for ABC. Formed in 1973 in New York City, the hard rock group released their first national album the following year and decided to call attention to themselves through the use of outlandish effects: explosive devices, snow machines, police lights, rocket-firing guitars, levitating drums, bizarre make-up, outrageous costumes, and a bass player who both ate fire and spit blood. By the late 1970s, Gallup pollsters were reporting that Kiss was the most popular act in teenage America. Ironically, three of the four band members did not even perform on their biggest hit single, a lilting 1976 ballad, "Beth." Only drummer Peter Criss (who wrote the song) showed up for the session, at which he was accompanied by a 26-piece orchestra and a 30-voice boys choir.
Other Music Highlights of 1976:
- Bernie Leadon, original member of the Eagles since they were organized in 1971, leaves the group and is replaced by Joe Walsh.
- Because of booming record sales in recent years, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) creates a new platinum award, for singles that sell in excess of 2 million copies and an album that sells 1 million units. The first platinum single was Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady," and the first platinum album went to the Eagles for their Greatest Hits 1971-1975.
- A Chorus Line opens on Broadway. It would become the longest-running musical in entertainment history.
- Lasers are used in a rock show for the first time, by The Who.
- Genesis begins its first tour of America.
- Boston and Blue Oyster Cult score breakthrough songs with "More Than a Feeling" and "Don't Fear the Reaper," respectively.
- Kansas releases their breakthrough album, Leftoverture, and Black Sabbath releases a double-LP greatest hits album, We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll.
- Bruce Springsteen, while playing in Memphis, tries to sneak into Graceland to see his idol Elvis Presley. He is stopped by security guards, who quietly lead him off the grounds, unconcerned that he is a major star.
- Paul McCartney begins his Wings over America tour, from which an album by the same name would be released a year later and zoom to number one.
- Donna Summer's American debut single in 1975, "Love To Love You Baby," smolders up the charts in 1976 as part of the disco explosion.
- The Runaways release their signature track, "Cherry Bomb," from their self-titled debut album.
- Prior to the release of the album No Reason To Cry, Eric Clapton begins a concert tour of England, his first in years.
- Elton John plays for a week at New York City's Madison Square Garden. The summertime concerts smash all attendance records.
Seventies Daily Music Chronicle - 1976
The Top 40 Singles of 1976:
- "Disco Lady" - Johnnie Taylor (First chart appearance: 3/6/76; Highest position: #1)
- "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" - Elton John and Kiki Dee (7/17/76; #1)
- "Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry (7/31/76; #1)
- "Tonight's The Night" - Rod Stewart (10/23/76; #1)
- "Kiss and Say Goodbye" - The Manhattans (5/29/76; #1)
- "Silly Love Songs" - Paul McCartney and Wings (4/17/76; #1)
- "A Fifth Of Beethoven" - Walter Murphy (7/4/76; #1)
- "Love Machine (Part 1)" - The Miracles (12/13/75; #1)
- "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" - Paul Simon (1/3/76; #1)
- "December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night)" - The 4 Seasons (1/31/76; #1)
- "Love Hangover" - Diana Ross (4/24/76; #1)
- "Shake Your Booty" - K.C. & the Sunshine Band (7/31/76; #1)
- "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" - England Dan & John Ford Coley (7/10/76; #2)
- "Sara Smile" - Hall and Oates (8/14/76; #7)
- "Boogie Fever" - Sylvers (3/13/76; #1)
- "Afternoon Delight" - Starland Vocal Band (6/5/76; #1)
- "Misty Blue" - Dorothy Moore (4/10/76; #3)
- "Disco Duck" - Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots (9/4/76; #1)
- "More, More, More" - Andrea True Connection (4/24/76; #4)
- "Love Is Alive" - Gary Wright (5/15/76; #2)
- "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" - Lou Rawls (7/10/76; #2)
- "I Write The Songs" - Barry Manilow (11/22/75; #1)
- "You Don't Have To Be A Star" - Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis (10/23/76; #1)
- "Dream Weaver" - Gary Wright (1/31/76; #2)
- "If You Leave Me Now" - Chicago (8/21/76; #1)
- "Fly, Robin, Fly" - Silver Convention (10/25/75; #1)
- "Rock'n Me" - Steve Miller Band (9/4/76; #1)
- "Get Closer" - Seals and Crofts (6/5/76; #6)
- "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen (2/7/76; #9)
- "Welcome Back" - John Sebastian (4/10/76; #1)
- "Theme From S.W.A.T." - Rhythm Heritage (1/10/76; #1)
- "Get Up And Boogie" - Silver Connection (4/17/76; #2)
- "Hot Line" - Sylvers (11/13/76; #5)
- "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" - Gordon Lightfoot (9/25/76; #2)
- "You Sexy Thing" - Hot Chocolate (12/6/75; #3)
- "Let 'Em In" - Paul McCartney and Wings (7/17/76; #3)
- "Love Hurts" - Nazareth (1/3/76; #8)
- "You Should Be Dancing" - Bee Gees (7/17/76; #1)
- "Rubberband Man" - Spinners (10/2/76; #2)
- "Take It To The Limit" - Eagles (1/17/76; #4)
1976 Singles - Month By Month
Top Albums of 1976:
20 Popular Movies of 1976:
The Top 20 Television Shows of 1976:
Prime Time TV Schedule - 1976
News Highlights of 1976:
- Military spending in the world skyrockets to $300 billion a year.
- The Winter Olympics are held in Innsbruck, Austria.
- Barbara Walters is the first broadcaster to be offered a $1 million per-year contract to cohost the nightly news.
- Racial violence in black townships outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, is the worst in 15 years.
- Jimmy Carter, a "born-again" Baptist from Georgia, is the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
- New York City "Son of Sam" serial killer David Berkowitz claims his first victim, Donna Lauria.
- Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and Chinese leader Mao TseTung die.
- From coast to coast, the United States celebrates its 200th birthday.
- Gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania is the darling of the Summer Olympics in Montreal. (Even the theme music played during her performances, released as a single, goes gold).
- Advice columnist Ann Landers reveals that 70% of 10,000 responding parents surveyed by her had "buyer's remorse" about having children.
- In Philadelphia 28 people die of a mysterious virus dubbed "Legionnaire's disease."
- In a close election, Jimmy Carter is elected president over incumbent Gerald Ford.
- Austrian Kurt Waldheim begins serving his second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations, ten years before allegations of Nazi ties during World War ll started appearing.
Sports Winners of 1976:
- Baseball: The Cincinnati Reds beat the New York Yankees 4 games to 0.
- Football: The Oakland Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 on January 9, 1977, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California in Super Bowl XI.
- Basketball: The Boston Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2.
- Hockey: The Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4 games to 2.